Divorce can be one of the most stressful events that a person can go through in life. Believe it or not, it can be as traumatic as other major life events such as death of a loved one or experiencing a health crisis!
The end of the marriage can represent failure for some of us and we may suffer quietly from stigmatization at times. Not only that, we might even blame ourselves and question whether we are truly deserving of love!
These are indeed very challenging circumstances for divorcees who are considering a return to the dating scene so in this article, we explore some dating advice and tips that will enable you to lead the healthy and happy dating life that you deserve!
Develop a healthy mindset about dating and relationships
Some groundwork definitely has to be done before you start dating after a divorce. Apart from working through the sadness and grief, one of the crucial first steps involve adopting a healthy attitude towards yourself as a divorcee, and updating your view of love and relationships.
Divorce, like many challenges in life, can bring about growth in a person and it does not necessarily have to signify the end of your love life. In fact, being in a loving relationship can spur a person to blossom in many positive ways and it would not be beneficial for you to deny yourself of the opportunity to be in a relationship again.
While society may uphold and espouse many wholesome values about lifelong marriages, the reality is, many relationships do come to an end for reasons that are usually beyond the control of the two parties and sometimes, it is part and parcel of the natural death of a good relationship.
What do we mean by this? A romantic relationship between two people is usually formed when there is a fulfilment of needs on both sides, with complementary characteristics and circumstances. In addition, the capacity of both individuals to weather stress that occurs naturally in relationships, helps to sustain the relationship.
However, any of these factors can change and the best efforts by both parties are sometimes not sufficient to hold the relationship together. We should learn to embrace these changes, especially within our modernized society as human needs continue to evolve in complex ways.
Being open and transparent
Be open about your past to your potential partner and be transparent to your children about the person you are dating. We understand that this can feel awkward and tricky, because you are navigating unknown territories and you naturally feel concerned that your loved ones may judge your decisions.
In general, it would be wise to only start the discussions when the relationship has reached a stage where you are planning to take things to a serious level, while factoring the emotional readiness and sensitivities on both sides. You would not want to wait too long to begin talking, but you also do not want to do it too soon.
Remember, your kids are also going through a period to adjustment as well from the divorce and any introduction has to be done at their pace, especially for younger children. Older children will be more cognizant of what is going on and you can answer questions but hold back on the details.
Being aware of the strengths you can bring to a relationship
You may realize that your dating pool shrinks considerably when you start dating as a divorcee, but that does not mean it is impossible and be proud of the experience that you bring with you that does not come intuitively as a single.
Having been through a divorce, you may develop a very pragmatic and realistic approach to relationships, rather than seeing them through the lens of romantic notions. Daters in this group wish to avoid the mistakes of the past relationships and become realistic in their dating approach. However, it should not be confused with being cynical, which indicates that you are not emotionally ready to date again.
Being divorced before also equips you with the ability to spot red flags more easily. You will be more intent on avoiding potential issues and focused on building a strong foundation for your relationship from the start.
In addition, you will be better able to articulate your needs and boundaries to set the right tone for the relationship. Divorcees tend to take things slower at the beginning but once they feel confident, things can progress naturally to a stable state.
In conclusion, dating brings about its own special set of challenges for everyone, no matter your situation. It is more important to value yourself and also, keep a positive and hopeful mindset and strive to find the relationship that you are worthy for!